These are the unedited class notes as submitted by class agents and other alumni. Edited notes appear in the print edition.
If you prefer to submit Class Notes by mail, send to:UMW Magazine – Class Notes
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Believe it or not, ladies, we received some news even with the COVID-19 quarantine, and here’s the common thread: Staying near home. Taking walks and going to the grocery store. Church activities on Zoom. Missing visits from family members. Being bored. Doing an exercise program. Enjoying puppy dogs.
Those were the activities shared by Pat Garvin Dyke, Gretchen Squires Best, Jan Latven Allnutt, Gray Schaefer Dodson, Sarah Forsyth Donnelly, Janet Spang Hess, Emy Steinberg Hyans, Anne Butler Hyde, and Jeanette Meyer Juren.
Marilla Mattox Haas can’t remember what day of the week it is now that she is not rehearsing with five different church groups every week. Read more about Marilla.
Sue Smith Goodrick had to cancel a river cruise. Judy Davidson Creasy’s family surprised her with a garden party for her 82nd birthday, and she took a short trip to Sedona, Arizona, for a friend’s birthday. Sherry Farrington Green
adopted a kitty. Gail Mooney Grobe was delighted to be able to buy toilet paper. Joanne Lister Jacobs did her own hair for a while and said she looked like Brunhilda from The Valkyrie.
Tina Baensch Raver lives in New York City, but during lockdown she and her hubby quarantined at their home on Long Island.
Janet Garriss Lewis has moved to a custom-designed, accessible apartment attached to her son’s home. Her old home finally sold. After much encouragement from her family, she has finally parted with most of her lifetime collections, saving just enough mementos for her grandchildren.
Sally Brown VanDuyne wrote they had tried twice to go to Vermont but hadn’t made it yet.
Joyce Neill Krost did not make it to Spain last winter because last August she broke her neck and caught pneumonia, landing in a rehab center. Gaye Roberts Olsen
can escape outside on her scooter chair if she stays where staff can see her. Sandy Poole goes to virtual church
and helps Barb in her home office.
Lucy Wu Wang and Jimmy were stuck in their Palm Springs, California, apartment and couldn’t travel to Shanghai.
Penny Engle Burkhardt shared a story about an encounter with rabbits while riding her bike, and Penny, Jody, and Karen had a hilarious exchange about it.
Jean Eubanks Holland had heart surgery last fall, followed by pneumonia. While recovering, she sold
her townhouse and bought a new apartment. Nancy Cleaves Blaydes had glaucoma surgery. Syd Collson Chichester had Mohs surgery for skin cancer she attributes to her sun-worshipping days on Mary Washington dorm balconies. Syd is proud of daughter Holly Chichester, who is landscape and grounds manager at Mary Washington and lives near Syd in Fredericksburg.
Darrell and I, Karen Larsen Nelson, have spent part of each week in our little trailer, “mooch docking” at our friends’ cabin in the cooler mountains in Arizona. I’ve also discovered I can hike again a little – if I stick to old logging roads, which are fairly level. Our great-grandbaby No. 6 arrived in early May, but by late summer we had only seen pictures. We were considering a trip in the fall for an outside visit in our daughter’s yard.
Jody Campbell Close compared her Florida humidity with Karen’s Arizona astronomically high dry heat; she figured it was a draw. Jody lives alone, so doesn’t consider herself fully quarantined because if there is an errand to be done there is no one else to do it. But masks do not encourage long, witty conversations, and distancing 6 feet or more doesn’t help the hard of hearing. She’s read several books, watched a lot of PBS and documentaries, and made headway with her genealogy research. She stumbled on her father’s World War II diary, written as a young lieutenant and Pearl Harbor survivor. She was able to print a booklet for each family member of his firsthand accounts of naval engagements in the South Pacific and in Alaska. “So being unencumbered by the outside world, my isolation was productive after all,” she wrote.
Jody and Karen were sorry we could not gather for our 60th reunion this past spring, but we will try again. What about a Zoom meeting? Write with your thoughts. Your class agents still have active emails for 135 classmates and want to hear from everyone.
Connie Booth Logothetis (A–G)
Renee Levinson Laurents (H–Q)
Lynne Williams Neave (R–Z)
Please send news to the designated class agent according to the first letter of your maiden name.
Our reunion is planned for May 14-16, 2021. The Hyatt has blocked rooms for us, so make your reservations!
We’ve all been through hard times with the pandemic, and there’s other sad news as well. Connie Booth Logothetis fractured a vertebra and spent time in a hospital and rehab, sometimes in pain. She couldn’t have visitors, so she and Andy communicated by phone.
Sadly, Jean Ryan Farrell passed away May 22. She is survived by her husband, Frank, and three children. Jane Riles’ husband, Jim Dietz, passed away Feb. 13.
From Connie’s group (Lynne Williams Neave reporting):
Clara Sue Durden Ashley and Clarence had a visit from son Park and his three oldest children. They looked forward to a summertime visit from son Dennis and family, visiting from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where Dennis works for the Navy. Soon after that visit, the Ashleys planned to drive to Beavercreek, Ohio, for granddaughter Anwyn’s senior recital – originally scheduled for spring but delayed by coronavirus. Anwyn and another granddaughter, Abby, graduated from high school in 2020.
Pepper Jacobs Germer and Hank were fortunate not to have been touched by a category 3 tornado in March that flattened 600 homes, a mall, and an airport in Jonesboro, Arkansas. They were obeying COVID rules and actually enjoying staying home.
The pandemic curtailed Jeri Barden Perkins’ travel plans for Italy, Mexico, and Greece. She stayed home but enjoyed Zoom classes, especially those from UMW. She wrote: “The pandemic has offered me the opportunity of using my voice for my community, the university, and NPR. It has taught me that I can live with less and have even greater appreciation for what I have. During the AIDS epidemic I was on the front lines seeing patients in a free clinic. During this pandemic I was afforded the opportunity of using my voice and the importance and power of messaging.”
Maddy Contis Marken cleaned the refrigerator, scrubbed the shower stall, and baked bread. “Now that those chores are done, I probably won’t do them again for a long time,” she wrote. She took up sketching, reconditioned her bike, and has worked part time doing telehealth. Still, she wrote, “I have spent too much time wandering from room to room and looking out the windows, wondering what book to read next.”
Mary Hatcher shared some pandemic and mask-wearing observations: “You have not lived unless you have had your hair cut wearing a mask, but it can be done. If you wear hearing aids, as I do, taking them out is the only way to wear both a mask and sunglasses at the same time.” She gained a new appreciation for curbside pickup and online shopping but was sorry that her annual family reunion had to be canceled. On a much sadder note, she lost a sister-in-law to a non-COVID issue, and was heartbroken that her brother was not able to be with his wife while she was in the hospital for nine weeks.
Margaretta Kirksey Bir was glad her Alabama county was requiring masks. Both of her daughters have autoimmune diseases, and her son-in-law and son’s oldest daughter have severe allergies. She was angry that mask-wearing had been turned into a freedom of speech issue, and that the U.S. hadn’t been able to devise strategies to contain the virus. “Once Americans went to the moon; now we can’t even go to Europe,” she wrote.
Residents of Marcia Minton Keech’s retirement community in Winchester, Virginia, decided to grow vegetables in cottage gardens and on balconies as a way of coping with quarantine. Now they all have plenty of fresh vegetables, and the dining chef is thrilled! Marcia and Bill were faring well but missed seeing their children.
Sandra Judkins Armitage was at Mary Washington for just two years but enjoys reading our class news. The pandemic brings thoughts of her grandmother, who lost two children to the 1918 flu. Sandra and her husband gather with family on Sundays at a park where they can connect while social distancing.
Betty Pace Rose attended Mary Washington for a year and loved living in Trench Hill even though the distance from other residence halls made it difficult to meet many people. She shared some thoughts about Mary Washington and its relationship with the University of Virginia.
Like many of you I, Renée Levinson Laurents, am finding quarantine just not easy. I read a lot, watch TV a lot (including Hamilton – Lin-Manuel Miranda is beyond gifted.) My book club now meets on Zoom, as I do with my nephew and family in Texas. A friend since junior high school lives nearby in Santa Monica, and I visit her and her husband in their large backyard, sitting 10 feet apart. I also escape these four walls by taking a drive-through lunch to the ocean and gazing out at the Pacific. My cats help a lot.
Sadly, in May my cute little rescue dog ran out as I got the mail. A huge husky attacked her before I could get to her, and even with surgery the emergency veterinarian was not able to save her. The attack happened one year to the day after my dog Buddy died. The universe is telling me not to get another dog, I guess.
Anyway, thanks to you all for writing. Wear masks, wash your hands a lot, and keep well.
I have been extremely fortunate during these hard times to escape New York City for a place in northern Connecticut. We have had virtually no COVID-19 here. There are marvelous places to hike, plus I have great neighbors for occasional distant socializing.
Sue Wilson Sproul, husband Dave, and dog Cooper have moved back to Virginia – a huge concession from Dave, who loves the mountains, sweeping vistas, and low humidity of the West. But three children and three grandchildren drew them back. They moved to a continuing-care community on the south side of Richmond in January and barely got to know other residents before the shutdown in March. Sue has observed Richmond’s removals of Confederate statues with interest. She wrote, “Yes, Monument Avenue was ‘lovely’ to our eyes, but we have been insensitive to what [the statues] represent to so many others. Time marches on.”
Lynne Wilson Rupert started 2020 with a cruise to Mexico to celebrate her 80th birthday and thought it was going to be a great year. She wrote, “Well, it has certainly turned out to be a memorable one!” She has read a multitude of books, watched TV, and shredded all the documents she wants to. Zoom and FaceTime are great, but she misses hugs and social activities.
Janie Riles doesn’t leave the house for anything. She plays online bridge and signed up for a Cornell Lab of Ornithology online class to learn about the birds in her garden. She enjoys Zoom sessions with artist groups. And she’s finally cleaned out her garage.
Elizabeth “Bitsy” Wright Coxe has used her pandemic confinement to watch operas streamed from the Met Opera and art history lessons via the Frick Museum. She’s been reading a book a week, tending her orchids, cooking more than she has in years, and walking every day in her country neighborhood. Her internist doesn’t want her visiting a salon, so her hair is halfway down her back. “Call me Rapunzel!” she wrote. “I have actually enjoyed this time in my little piece of the universe.”
Graham Walker Burns has enjoyed more family time, not less, since the pandemic began. Son Jim and his family live in London but temporarily relocated to Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, near Graham. The children did their schoolwork via Zoom, and Jim worked remotely. Graham’s daughter May and family also temporarily relocated to Lookout Mountain. And four other children already lived nearby. Graham has continued with her real estate business, taking Lysol wipes and wearing a mask for showing houses. She’s still trying to finish reading The Grapes of Wrath.
Polly Updegraff Champ’s husband, Dan, had a hard 2019 with vision, hearing, and health issues, and they didn’t go to Florida for the first time in 22 years. They stayed in Connecticut and have had a lot of help from Polly’s stepdaughter, Theresa. She shopped for Dan and Polly during the early days of the pandemic, and her visits and calls have helped Polly keep her sanity. Polly calls Theresa her heroine.
Lloyd Tilton Backstrom suspects that the Class of ’61 should win first place in the Clean Closet Competition. She and Art haven’t ventured out socially as they don’t want to trust their luck. They have gone to their river home in Hertford, North Carolina, for a change of scenery.
Eleanore Saunders Sunderland had to learn how to walk again after a broken pelvis and two surgeries on the same hip. Daughter Jane moved in for a time to help and still comes once a week to do Eleanore’s shopping, though Eleanore is now comfortable alone. As for Eleanore’s other children, Jude, who lives in Milan, had come out of lockdown but still couldn’t travel. Willard was able to be with family in Cincinnati while doing grant-funded research on 18th-century Russian history. He is a Russian professor at the University of Cincinnati.
Peggy Howard Hodgkins had completed a 14-day Panama Canal cruise and was in Palm Springs visiting a niece when the pandemic forced her to cut her winter travels short and head back to Maine. Peggy spent the next two months alone, but a nearby family picked up and delivered her groceries and mail once a week.
In May son Greg and his wife joined Peggy in her lake house for two months of quarantining together. They had weekend visits from grandchildren and great-grands. Peggy’s sister Jean and family spent time in July at her camp next door, and sister Joanne and her husband visited for two weeks. Maine had kept cases low as of this Class Notes submission. Peggy is a friend and former neighbor of the governor, and Peggy reported that she and the health chief had been tough on tourists, innkeepers, restaurants, and nonessential businesses, with good results.
Kathleen Sprenkle Lisagor
Dear classmates. Just how are you doing? Your news is so scarce!
For our happy 80th birthdays do you often feel like the 1960s era has come again? We were living such a world of events as a vaccine for polio with sugar cubes, the ongoing struggle for civil rights, the Cuban crisis, traumatic assassinations, and Vietnam. At least we were heartened by the Space Age and Neil Armstrong on the moon.
Let us not forget the invasion of the Beatles singing Yesterday and I Want to Hold Your Hand! Music was a great part of the spirit of the ’60s, and much of it has a haunting revival with our youth today, especially with their technical skills.
Just think about those folk song lyrics and the emotion in Bridge Over Troubled Water as well as Yesterday, When I Was Young, and Elvis singing “but I can’t help falling in love with you.” Music knows no borders, and it heals also.
A fascinating message has just arrived by route of Joan Akers Rothgeb and Marcia Kirstein Fitzmaurice.
Kathleen Crothers Terrell and her husband live in Stephenville, Texas, and manage a cattle ranch, the Great Southern Ranch. They have three daughters and four grandchildren. One daughter lives on the ranch. As I recall, Kathleen majored in Spanish at Mary Washington and lived in Spain our junior year. I can imagine they are familiar with Eddy Arnold’s Cattle Call.
Patricia Mackey Taylor was in Philadelphia for the birth of a granddaughter, the child of her youngest son, Daniel, and his wife.
Pat also shared the news that she lost her sister Martha Mackey deMontpellier ’71 unexpectedly in September 2019, for which we send our heartfelt sympathies. Sympathies also to family and friends of our classmate Carolyn Livingstone, who passed away Sept. 10, 2020.
As emails and correspondence seem especially tough on us now, I want to take a few moments to reflect and personally share some activities from MWC days.
I still cherish those seated dinners and can just imagine the beautiful choir and orchestral concerts. The majestic sounds of the great organ pipes in George Washington Hall were just fantastic for the entrance of Dr. Simpson and staff! As a piano and organ music major, I truly appreciate the unique experiences and professors.
My career has allowed me to share with many, including my talented daughter, Amy, and granddaughter, Kelly Burcher. This spring Kelly was voted the middle school teacher of the year in Manassas, where she has taught for six years while completing her master’s degree. They both have helped me to tackle FaceTime teaching with my students, also.
The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg featured 2020 as the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, for women to vote. And on Aug. 30, the paper ran an article about the 50th anniversary of coeducation at the University of Virginia. My MWC diploma from 1962 reads “Mary Washington College of the University of Virginia.”
We’re now the University of Mary Washington, but the honor code remains a cherished tradition at both UMW and U.Va. My youngest granddaughter entered a U.Va. dormitory this September as a first-year student.
I’m looking forward to seeing some ol’ faces and our 60th reunion.
In the meantime in this crazy world, think on the winning words of Louis Armstrong:
I see leaves of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
Linkey Booth Green
Betty Caudle Marshall shared the sad news that her husband, Tom, passed away April 29, 2020. Some UMW friends called him “Precious Tom.” Last fall Betty and Tom had hosted some of his friends from elementary school who were also Mary Washington alumnae, including Anne Marchant Long and Betsey Burke Christian. Betty also heard from Betsy Chamberlain Hartz and Virginia Walker Jarvis.
I, Linkey Booth Green, know I am not alone in sending Betty deepest sympathy.
I have connected with Elizabeth “Ibby” Le Sueur on Facebook. She retired from teaching and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
I am sorry I missed getting any news in the last issue. I have had some health issues during the past year and am not as efficient as I used to be. Does anyone want to take over this job?
Susan Rowe Bunting
Melinda Watterson attended Mary Washington for two years but went to Oklahoma University for her junior and senior years to be with her high school sweetheart, Chuck. They married in 1963 and had a wonderful 42 years together before Chuck died unexpectedly in 2005. Chuck was a jockey for several years until joining Army Reserve during the Vietnam War. He went to veterinary school in 1969, and they had a practice in Miami for 30 years. One daughter is an elementary principal in Miami and the other works with her husband in an electrical contracting business in Norman, Oklahoma.
In 2007 Melinda met John, a widower, and they married four years later. They have a blended family of three daughters and sons-in-law, four grandsons, and a granddaughter. Melinda would love to reconnect with roommates Francine Zuzzolo Taylor, Diane Smith, Martha Moore Townsend, and Verna Carlson Hawk, and riding buddy Carolyn Kendall.
Barbara Ioanes shared that it is hard to live in Washington, D.C., both because of the pandemic and protests, which have been accompanied by looting of nearby businesses. A young neighbor helps with her shopping, and after a two-month hiatus she resumed visits with her son and his toddlers. She has continued her work on community service art projects, including refurbishing of the Marilyn Monroe mural in northwest Washington and fundraising to have old police and fire boxes repaired and repainted.
Kay Pannell Howe shared sad news of the loss of her husband, Norton, of cancer on Easter Sunday. Our sympathy goes out to her and her family.
As for me, Susan Rowe Bunting, life in New Hampshire is certainly different but nothing dramatic compared to what is going on in the rest of the country. Our town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, swells from 8,200 to 26,000 in summer, and this summer has been no different. Phil and I stay away from the downtown area, as it is truly shoulder to shoulder. We recently adopted a 6-year-old boxer dog, Hettie, who has added excitement and interest to our self-isolation. Thankfully, I am now forced to take walks many times a day – sorely needed. I would love to hear from more of you.
Phyllis Cavedo Weisser
This is my last submission as class agent. It’s been a pleasure hearing from so many of you over the last almost 20 years. If you would like to serve as class agent, or to share news or notice of a death of one of our classmates, write to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have news to share directly with me or those on my mailing list, please continue to send those to me at my email address above.
Like many others, Felicity Hallanan was disappointed that we couldn’t visit campus for our 55th reunion this past May. She noted that 2020 will be remembered for events in our lives that did not happen, as well as those that did. She looked forward in hope that the Class of ’65 will, indeed, be able to gather for reunion May 14-16, 2021.
Last summer, someone drove through three rooms of Lee Smith Musgrave’s home. The car went through the garage door and the mudroom and came to a stop in the guest bathroom – all while Lee was in the house. Her home was declared uninhabitable until a structural engineer declared it safe for repair. She took refuge with a neighbor for 11 days.
In November, she and a neighbor enjoyed a Caribbean cruise, a welcome relief from the home-repair chaos. But this summer brought more strife. Lee stepped off her scale and her femur cracked. She had surgery that day, and a rod and two screws were inserted to hold the bone together. She hoped to go home from rehab in mid-August.
Janice Helvey Robinson and Rob are still in the Atlanta area, with their children close by. Their weekly visits are now driveway visits or Zoom meetings. They decided several years ago to travel in the United States and have been to Jackson Hole, Vail, Mount Rushmore, and Glacier National Park. Their last outing was a New Orleans-to-Memphis cruise on the Mississippi River. They did all things Elvis along with barbecue, Beale Street, and Sun Studios. No more travel plans until we get a vaccine! Meanwhile they play bridge online and record their church choir pieces individually, to be put together into a virtual performance.
Linda Patterson Hamilton has been cancer-free for nearly two years, and she and husband Austin celebrated their 53rd anniversary in June. She’s participated in a weekly Zoom meeting of Tremble Clefs, a Parkinson’s disease singing therapy that strengthens vocal and swallowing functions. She is also writing a novel set in Virginia.
Carol Meese continues to paint and exhibit. Her latest body of work was done during the stay-home phase of the pandemic.
Margaret Cobourn Robinson and Kenny spent January to March in Vero Beach, Florida. Margaret’s brother passed away June 16, but they were blessed to fly out to Seattle to see him the week before.
Kathie Drake Burgess practiced family law for 20 years and specialized in helping victims of domestic violence. Cheryl Gonzales Yancey just retired for the second time.
On a sad note, we have lost several classmates recently. Sara Rieger Trub sent news that Phyllis Eure Rodrigues passed away on April 17 due to complications from COVID-19. It was very sudden, and her family was relieved that she did not suffer a prolonged illness. The nursing home director said she was wheeling around and being her funny, warm, and friendly self that very morning, and the staff was shocked and heartbroken.
Saralyn Judd Pinson passed away in December 2018. Gertrude “Trudy” Kitchin Kohl passed away Oct. 6, 2019. Margaret Cobourn Robinson and Trudy were roommates sophomore year, and Meg was able to see Trudy a few days before she passed. Ed Amsbury wrote that Carole Dirling Amsbury passed away July 30, 2020.
Katharine Rogers Lavery
Barbara Bishop Mann and Robert celebrated their 53rd anniversary at home with a bottle of white wine, takeout from a fine Richmond restaurant, and a movie viewed from their easy chairs. Other than taking walks around the neighborhood, they were staying home and avoiding COVID-19.
Kathy Goddard Moss and Tom quietly celebrated their anniversary socially isolating in their retirement community in Oakland, California. Their residence had been taking good care of them, delivering food to their apartment, shopping for them when requested, and maintaining a lovely garden and courtyard. Kathy and Tom kept in touch with their daughter’s family in Spain and their siblings, children, and grandchildren on Zoom.
After waiting five years for a San Diego retirement community to be completed, Dee Dee Nottingham Ward and Nat finally moved in February. They adjusted to the change from the large house they had for 46 years to a 1,400-square-foot apartment. Dee Dee was able to work from home with the tax season extended.
In March (pre-pandemic) Mary Kathryn Rowell Horner attended a luncheon hosted by Mary Grace Wright Day with President Troy Paino, Kelly Paino, and other Mary Washington alumni. Mary Kathryn stayed in their Florida condo rather than return to Alexandria in the spring. One day while shopping at the Publix, wearing her MWC 50th anniversary shirt, Mary K met a checkout lady from Virginia whose cousin is a 2008 graduate.
Joan Cuccias Patton had contracted a kitchen renovation just before the coronavirus outbreak. She managed to stay isolated during the construction and carefully disinfected everything each evening, per her children’s instructions. Joan and family celebrated Easter with a Zoom brunch. Joan festively set her table with silver, china, and crystal, and insisted the family dress for the occasion. The boys’ shirts and ties looked great – their shorts and flip-flops were out of sight! Joan and family enjoyed a brief annual vacation in the Outer Banks.
Midge Meredith Poyck reported that both her Arizona and South Carolina families have kept well during the pandemic. Midge was able to hike in the fairly unpopulated areas just north of her home except during the outbreak of a wildfire, which didn’t threaten her directly. In May, Midge and family conducted a backyard graduation ceremony for a granddaughter who was headed to Arizona State University’s Honors College in August. Midge wore her academic regalia, awarded a makeshift diploma, and hosted a Zoom party for the celebration.
Marty Spigel Sedoff wrote on her 90th day of isolation that she hadn’t been anywhere in forever! Bob did all the shopping for groceries, hardware, and other necessities. Marty and Bob mostly stayed home, reading, watching TV, Zooming with friends and family, and taking long walks with their dog. They also care for Bob’s 98-year-old mother, who lives nearby in her own home.
Anne Meade Clagett laughed hysterically at the suggestion of taking up new hobbies and projects, or developing new talents. Other than checking her temperature and O2 levels, she maintained her usual rural routine and kept in touch electronically with friends, her sister, favorite in-law cousins and, of course, her closest classmate, Bobbi Bishop Mann.
Terry Caruthers actually did develop new talents. Besides finishing a piece of furniture, having a knee replaced, and keeping up with the Golden Girls Club members, she wrote a series of short stories about her family. She self-published Brother Steve Stories on Blurb.com, about her older brother’s childhood adventures, his career, his three wives, and his valiant struggle with a rare terminal cancer. Terry next published Mystical Pieces of Me, describing some mystical experiences that are outliers in the pieces of her life’s puzzle. One such episode occurred at MWC, in Dr. Shaw’s vectors and matrices class!
Ginny Bateman Brinkley used her quarantine time to write poems for kids, published in May by BellAire Press. Ginny and Bill have decided to stay in isolation until a virus vaccine is available, especially since two family members became ill. Ginny set an all-time record for cooking meals. She enjoyed FaceTime calls with the grands, helping with their math homework. Granddaughter Brittany Hewitt performed her senior recital at Juilliard in February with 17 family members in attendance – the last performance before the pandemic. Ginny and Bill enjoyed staying with Susan Roth Nurin in her cozy Upper West Side apartment. Brittany returned home in March, finished her degree online, and had a virtual graduation in May. Ginny’s favorite part of the ceremony was the president of Juilliard declaring, “Graduates, please unmute your phones now so we can hear your cheering!” Brittany received a generous grant and was planning to return to NYC to record original music and further her career.
Judy Wells Clark has continued playing music for church and teaching piano, in person or through FaceTime. Judy hopes that we can have some type of reunion whenever the COVID-19 threat is resolved.
Susanne Landerghini Boehm and husband Ralph stayed semi-quarantined at home, going out for errands, groceries, and plants. They visited their sons, who live in D.C. apartments, and took advantage of the restaurants, parks, and places of interest in walking distance. Susanne hopes that Karl and his girlfriend’s three adopted kittens will not be their only “grands.” Although business had slowed greatly, Susanne and Ralph still ran their music contracting business, and Ralph continued teaching violin, viola, cello, and bass students via Zoom from his basement studio. Susanne keeps in touch with Tyla Matteson and recently heard from Kate Ginman, who had spent many years traveling abroad working with the armed forces. Kate is now retired, living in Maryland, most recently working as an events planner. Kate relayed the sad news of the passing of her roommate, Linda Johnson Williams, from ovarian cancer. Susanne, Kate, and Linda were three of the freshmen who lived among juniors in Westmoreland, and Kate planned to visit Susanne as soon as COVID allows.
We heard from Cherie Wells Brumfield in the summer and were shocked and saddened to learn that she passed away Sept. 6, 2020.
Sally Souder was sad not to be able to walk along the beach and aid the sea turtles. She also missed her annual lunch meeting with Gerry Sargent Habas, with whom she keeps in close touch.
Carolyn Eldred reported that things in Fredericksburg had slowed to a crawl, especially with all the UMW activities suspended indefinitely.
Jana Privette Usry was sad to see all UMW activities halted suddenly. She was planning to attend the 1908 Society luncheon and participate in graduation. She also missed the annual luncheon for the Heritage Society and scholarship donors and its display of student projects. Jana kept in touch with neighbors’ outdoor happy hours, spent countless hours with her little dog, and participated in Zoom yoga. While working at home Jana completed at least eight mediation cases via conference calls (a new skill), fax, and computer. Jana’s favorite relaxation was listening to Wintley Phipps’ soothing sacred songs.
Ann Kales Lindblom and husband Steve stayed on lockdown for months at the insistence of daughter Beth, a nurse practitioner in Maryland. They happily kept in touch with their grandchildren by Zoom.
Winnie Woodson Stribling and husband Brad sheltered in place, taking advantage of Instacart and dinner delivery services. Daughter Sarah lives with them and runs necessary errands. Winnie researched patterns for face masks and made them before it became a total requirement. She missed her handbell choir but and stayed active with virtual church.
At their daughter’s urging, Catherine Cantwell Luria and husband Eric vacated their Ajijic, Mexico, home for a long stay near Sacha and family in Portland, Oregon. Their rental house has a yard with mature trees, flowering shrubs, and a small bridge to a city park.
Yvonne Hutchinson March managed to visit her son and daughter-in-law in Columbus, Ohio, in March, just before all flights were canceled. She didn’t get to Savannah, Georgia, to visit her daughter and grandchild. Husband Chris is not fond of traveling, so he didn’t object to the stay-at-home orders in Florida. Yvonne kept in touch with Susan Roth Nurin, who was feeling restricted in her NYC apartment, missing concerts, arts activities, and bilingual tours.
Betsy Chappelear Tryon in California had been on lockdown for months. Son Frank shares her townhouse and does the shopping and errands. Daughter Maureen lives nearby with granddaughter Maddy home from college doing online classes. “Volleyball star” Maddy did return to The Citadel in August but was unsure whether she’d get to play any games.
Kitty Down Gregg and husband Don stayed isolated at home, disappointed that son Chris and his fiancée had to postpone their wedding.
Pat Lewars Pace and Linda Glynn Hutchinson had planned a trip to Germany to see the once-in-every-10-years Oberammergau passion play. The trip was postponed until 2022, and Pat and Linda were hanging onto their reservation, hoping for a COVID vaccine. Meanwhile, Pat said her yard never looked better even though her aches and pains had increased.
Annette Maddra Horner started spring 2020 on a mission to replace invasives with native plants at her Richmond home. Her property looks beautiful and provides food and homes for native insects and birds. Annette also enjoyed the exercise and therapeutic benefits of working outdoors. She read Doug Tallamy’s books on natural gardening.
Katie Winn Green visited her son and family in Cardiff, Wales, last Christmas before they moved to Sydney, Australia, in February. Unable to visit them in Australia this year, and with her choral group concert canceled because of COVID, Katie picked up her acoustic guitar and practiced enough to build up finger calluses.
Caroline Hogeland Ruppar and husband Allan flew to South Africa in February for 10 days including a safari – the “most amazing experience ever!” They embarked on a scheduled 28-day cruise up the east coast of Africa and across the Indian Ocean. But the pandemic closed ports, and the 1,000 passengers and crew spent two weeks on the ship while the cruise line searched for a port where they could disembark. They finally departed from Muscat, Oman, knowing that they were safe because they had been quarantined aboard. Caroline and Allan traveled 38 hours through four international airports to get home.
Back in Reston, Virginia, they finished a master suite addition and took a short family restricted beach vacation in Delaware. Caroline looked forward to our resuming our MW Lunch Bunch meetings as soon as it was safe.
Last October Diana Hamilton Cowell and husband Dan traveled to The Dalles, Oregon, to which her father’s ancestors had emigrated along the Oregon Trail in 1846. They visited cousins, saw the actual seat from the Smith family covered wagon, and paid respects at the family cemetery. Now that she has hearing aids, Diana has discovered she is no longer surrounded by mumblers.
Genie McClellan Hobson spent much of her quarantine time sewing masks for the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, writing postcards to voters, and Zooming with family. Genie attended a Baylor University grad student’s dissertation defense via Zoom, happy to be a part of it since she had collaborated on some of the scientific work. Genie was able to keep working as a Realtor while she and Don quarantined.
Linda Mitchell Spiers retired as rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Collinsville, Connecticut, and traveled for the fourth time to Israel and Palestine. In August 2019 Linda was appointed interim priest-in-charge at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, Connecticut, and continues to serve full time. Worship services continued via livestream, with meetings and programs via Zoom. Linda is deeply involved in the Racial Healing, Justice, and Reconciliation Network of the diocese, especially significant during recent tragedies and injustices.
Eileen Goddard Albrigo opened their home pool at the end of May, a welcome antidote for the COVID doldrums. The grandkids visited in shifts and mostly stayed outdoors, social distancing. Husband John continued his medical practice, doing only urgent surgeries and seeing patients who needed his physical presence for treatments. Son Todd’s family, all homeschooled, easily adjusted to the new norm except for the eldest, who had to finish his freshman year at Virginia Tech virtually. The Albrigo clan planned trips to their Hilton Head beach house with strict social distancing.
I, Katharine Rogers Lavery, and family pushed our annual Outer Banks vacation reservation to next year. I spent the summer working on the house, yard, and garden, keeping a close eye on the bird feeders, four fox kits, and twin fawns living in the backyard. A magical huge stand-up Happy Birthday sign appeared in the front yard the morning of my 75th birthday, and Hank and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with a dinner of home-caught crabs from our son’s river house. After remotely celebrating three grandkids’ graduations and several birthdays, we were able to attend daughter Tracy’s tiny June wedding, the first time the family had gotten together since Christmas!
Our bowling, senior fitness classes, church music, theater subscription, and Pentagon Sailing Club activities were suspended indefinitely except for Zoom meetings. One good PSC friend is John Laffman ’94! I tutored math second semester on FaceTime and resumed in the fall with at least five students. Hank continued managing an office building in Falls Church with reduced hours, since most of the tenants were teleworking.
Tyla Matteson and husband Glen stayed home for months. She kept busy with Sierra Club meetings, all virtual, and worked on local races in Hampton and Newport News, helping to elect several environmental champions. She was dismayed by the coronavirus deaths and racial troubles. Tyla forwarded two Richmond Times-Dispatch articles. One was about UMW professors’ efforts to establish a historical marker at the Freedom Riders’ first bus stop in Fredericksburg. James Farmer – later a Mary Washington professor – organized the Freedom Rides. The other, by Vice President of Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, concerned the late Congressman John Lewis and his connections to Mary Washington.
We send condolences to Sandra Hutchison Schanné on the loss of her husband, Richard, June 6, 2020. Besides Linda Johnson Williams, who died in May 2020, we remember our classmate Barbara Ann Green, who passed away May 6, 2020.
Mary Beth Bush Dore
Sarah Nabstedt Barnes and her husband live in San Diego and enjoy lovely weather and the mighty Pacific. Sarah moderates a couples’ book club in downtown San Diego. She had to give up her piano when they moved to San Diego 11 years ago, but she took up Asian brush painting. She has been using Zoom and doing plein air painting with friends.
Laurie Newman DiPadova-Stocks and Hugh relocated from Parkville, Missouri, to Gilbert, Arizona, where Laurie is assigned to her university’s new branch campus. They love Arizona’s low humidity. Together, she and Hugh have six children, 16 grandchildren, and as of June 26, seven great-grandchildren. She spoke recently with Florence Bishop and loves keeping in touch with dear friends from Mary Washington.
Yvonne J. Milspaw and husband Douglas Evans hunkered down during the pandemic, renovating to make their house more senior-friendly. Once local COVID restrictions eased, they were able to visit in person with their 3-year-old grandson, and Douglas took him flying in his private small plane. Yvonne and Douglas postponed travel plans to Iceland and Norway. Yvonne was slowly cleaning out her extensive library of folklore and anthropology books. She was at work on arrangements for a planned fall 2021 meeting of the American Folklore Society in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Charlotte Gregg Morgan’s poetry chapbook Time Travel was published by Finishing Line Press in August. The memoir Are You Gregg’s Mother? is to be published by Legacy Book Press in January 2021.
Alexis “Lex” Ball Smith is mom to two and grandma to four, and she anticipated the arrival of her first great-grandchild in August 2020.
Gayle Atwood Channel and husband Warren drove from Portsmouth, Virginia, to visit while I, Mary Beth Bush Dore, was in rehab in Beaufort, South Carolina. We had a wonderful dinner visit.
Daughter Ginger Dore Marshall ’94 and I met with UMW Development Officer Elizabeth Waters Hunsinger ’01 to find out about the new things happening at Mary Washington.
Husband Casey and I have stayed at home as Ginger and the governor of South Carolina wanted us to do. Ginger took family leave to care for Casey after his back operation and me as I prepared for another hip operation.
Meg Livingston Asensio
Frances Rodgers Bryant shared the sad news of the death of husband Julian on July 14. Besides Frances, daughter Jennifer Bryant Langdale ’91, son William, and four grandchildren survive him.
Sally Monroe Kelly sent in the following notes:
2019 was a banner travel year for Susan Morris and Don, with trips to the Panama Canal, Amsterdam, and London, and wonderful visits with kids and grandkids. 2020 began the same way, with travels to Atlanta and south Florida, and a Caribbean cruise. They went into lockdown in mid-March. “Really glad Don and I actually LIKE each other!” Susan wrote.
Dale Saunders Kalkofen’s extensive travels have included two long pilgrimage hikes: El Camino de Santiago in 2016 and a hike through Scotland to England’s Holy Island in 2018, both with small groups from her church in Richmond. She enjoyed this past summer in isolation on Shadowland Farm in Powhatan County, Virginia, where she has lots of flower beds and an excellent vegetable garden. She has been drawing in pastels for fun but nothing like her dear friend and artist Mel Wittig Neale, who has been a prize-winning exhibiting artist since our Mary Washington days.
Julie Deane Webb lives in Connecticut. She and husband Rick are blessed with good health and healthy lifestyles, but they were still taking this pandemic seriously. They miss daughter Mary, who lives in the Seattle area with her husband and two boys. Son Josh and family live in the Boston area. Julie had hip replacement surgery last October and by spring was able to lift and squat in her garden like she used to! She remembers our 50th reunion with affection and hopes we can get together again soon.
Leneice Wu writes that shortly after our 50th reunion, she and husband John Thomas (married in 2013 after both being widowed in 2005) moved to a continuing-care community in Northern Virginia. It was not a minute too soon, as John needed skilled nursing care after his third surgery to repair a broken kneecap. Since being there, they have been trying to make sense of their possessions, and she recommends that if you haven’t begun downsizing, start now! That said, she bought a condo in Vermont to continue downhill skiing as long as possible and to be closer to her son and his wife and her only grandchild, 4-year-old Lucas. Daughter Emily lives in California and was an unemployed pandemic Equity stage manager with an employed husband, which is good! Leneice says moving to a small community of 2,000 is a little like it was starting college. It does take a while to get used to all the rules!
Linda Eadie Hood
Hello to Class of ’69 classmates! What are you doing during this pandemic to move through the world safely? Does it currently feel more like the late ’60s in our nation at this moment in time?
Linda Eadie Hood, our current scribe, was stuck in a cast in a recovery center and asked if I, Iris Harrell, would gather our class news this one time. She had a fall that broke her ankle, and surgery included screws and a plate on her foot. Ouch! She was pretty sick of not being home, especially during this 2020 pandemic. She would love to hear from you all. Her husband has been a saint during her recovery. Angel wings waiting for him.
Bev Holt and wife Deb Alpert sold their home in the Raleigh-Durham area in 24 hours after putting it on the market! They moved to their beach house at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Deb retired July 1. Bev bought a BMW convertible, and Deb bought a Boston Whaler boat. They were living their retirement dream, with masks and hand sanitizers to boot.
Oceanographer Jenifer Higgins Clark and her meteorologist husband, Dane, were the support planning team for Pablo Fernandez’s century swim in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Florida. In July 2019 Pablo set the fastest solo nonstop ocean 100km swim in history with a time of 12 hours, 21 minutes, and 14 seconds. What a job to have, Jenifer!
Carol Hewitt Guida in Australia was busy with philanthropic, non-income-producing projects – writing, drawing, weaving … you know, the fun, creative stuff! The pandemic means her husband runs his architectural firm from home now, and his computers and drawings have taken over the dining room. Carol keeps up his spirits with a kiss and a hug as she passes through the clutter doing her fun things.
Anne Witham Kilpatrick writes a tale of what she is not doing due to the pandemic. She is not seeing her Mary Wash roommates and suitemates this year. It was going to be a girls’ week out in Charleston, South Carolina.
Also not happening for Anne: A trip back to Scotland with husband Roger and several of his siblings. The Daughters of the American Revolution national conference was held virtually, and family gatherings were via Skype. Anne’s granddaughter’s graduation from boot camp in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, was to be livestreamed. Anne was getting lots of yard work and indoor projects accomplished while waiting for the pandemic to lift.
In October 2019, Jeanine Zavrel Fearns and daughter Erin spent a wonderful week in Rome. Jeanine, Anne Witham Kilpatrick, and suitemates Suzy Bender Winterble and Toni Turner Bruseth were together in November 2019 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where Toni has a second home. Jeanine hopes to resume her travel hobby ASAP once there’s a COVID vaccine.
Regina Sneed was sheltering in place and thriving in her senior living community in San Francisco. She Zooms with her North Beach coffee klatch, with fellow docents of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and with a local lobbying team that works on peace issues. She listens to lectures and watches theater, opera, and jazz performance – things she used to see live as a volunteer usher. With all these activities, she was seriously behind in her reading, as her pile of books grew taller.
In January, Nancy Yeager Allard and her husband took an 18-day cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago. Since the start of the pandemic, they had increased their prayer life, including livestreaming daily Mass from their parish. Nancy helped organize two contactless food drives for the parish. They connect with family by using Apple’s magical FaceTime. She does a weekly FaceTime storytelling with her 5-year-old grandson.
Betty Olander Adams paused a move from Maryland to Virginia because of COVID-19 concerns. She recommends reading The Widow Washington for insight into Mary Washington and son George. Betty was in touch with Chris Phillips Farhood, who continued her therapy practice while quarantined in Manhattan with her pup, Enzo. Chris had redone her bathroom, set up her art studio, and done volunteer mental health counseling.
The pandemic forced woman of action Lyn Howell Gray to slow down. She and Jim have moved from the African country of Liberia to Blacksburg, Virginia, and were unpacking stuff they hadn’t seen in 20 years. They talk to their son daily remotely. She was trying new drugs for her fibromyalgia (chronic pain and nerve sensitivity), and coping with side effects.
Cece Smith Riffer reports that Ann Simpson Brackett had a virtual wine tasting happy hour via Zoom together with French House roommates to keep in touch during the pandemic. Besides Cece and Ann, participants were Donna Cannon Julian and Lyn Howell Gray. Cece’s oldest grandchild was starting her junior year at William & Mary.
Ann reported that Betty Jo Shoemaker Polk has had multiple sclerosis since she was in her 30s and lives in a nursing home in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Betty’s son, Chris, is now 50!
Ann Benson and I, Iris Harrell, celebrated our 41st anniversary quietly at home. We were hunkered down in Santa Rosa, preparing for the annual fire season by painting the exterior of our home with an additive called Flamecheck.
My golf club has just broken ground to rebuild the burned-down clubhouse from the 2017 Santa Rosa Tubbs fire. I serve on the club board as a steering committee member for the construction. I also volunteer on advising and hiring for improvements of the public area of our 3,700-home community.
Our band, More Joy, is on sabbatical until the pandemic is over and concerts are safe again. Ann does volunteer work, but her joy is her incredible garden and fruit trees in the backyard.